Winter Travel News 2017/18 from Switzerland

An update of exciting things happen this winter in one of Europe’s most beautiful countries

Ice Cricket - Image Engadine St Moritz Tourism

Ice Cricket - Image Engadine St Moritz Tourism

The Swiss Mountains - Image Engadin St Moritz Tourism

The Swiss Mountains - Image Engadin St Moritz Tourism

Apre`s ski train in Andermatt - Image SkiArena Andermatt

Apre`s ski train in Andermatt - Image SkiArena Andermatt

Cricket on Ice

Every day between 8th February and 10th February 2018 at St. Moritzersee, St.Moritz are hosted what is arguably the most unusual game of cricket in the world. The event was started in 1988 so is cricket just a sport or more a way of life?

Players – usually male – dressed in white stand around for hours on an oval-shaped cricket ground and try to out-manoeuvre their opponents in what seems to be an almost passive manner. But appearances can be deceptive. The style of game played at Cricket on Ice on the frozen Lake St. Moritz demands a considerable amount of skill and agility from the players.

Opening of AQUATIS aquarium-vivarium in Lausanne

AQUATIS is a unique project in Switzerland and Europe. It positions itself as the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe and stages live animals through a totally immersive and interactive scenography using innovative digital technologies. AQUATIS belongs to a new generation of destinations where visitors can enjoy leisure activities, go on a voyage of discovery and become completely immersed in the surrounding environment. It will open its doors on 21 of October 2017.

SWISS expands London – Sion & Edinburgh – Zurich

SWISS offers the London Heathrow – Sion connection again in 2018, beginning in January – in total 8 round trip flights operating each Saturday. Bookable with a hand baggage only fare from £64 and classic fare (including hold luggage & free ski transport) from £79 one-way. SWISS also extends the Edinburgh-Zurich flight operation into winter with a total of 13 rotations (26 flights) from December to March.

Andermatt & Sedrun linked by railway

The SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun is set to become Central Switzerland’s largest skiing destination. From the 2017/18 season, a new gondola cableway and chairlift will enter service meaning Andermatt and nearby Na¨tschen and Gu¨tsch are now connected. The ski resorts of Andermatt and Sedrun will be fully connected by the 2018/19 winter season at the latest.

75 years of the Mu¨rren Inferno Race

The infamous Inferno Race celebrates its 75th anniversary from 17-20 January 2018. The oldest and longest amateur ski race in the world attracts fierce competition from around the world and this season’s edition will be no different, with a special anniversary programme including the Sir Arnold Lunn Cup race. The legendary ski race takes in a 1,990m altitude difference with the total distance being 14.9 km long.

50th Engadin Ski Marathon

The ‘Engadiner’, as it’s known, is the largest cross-country race in Switzerland and the second largest worldwide with over 13,000 participants. Originally started in 1969, the 50th edition will take place on 11 March 2018. For one participant it has extra significance: 80 year old Franc¸oise Stahel has not missed a single marathon. So for Franc¸oise, this will also be her 50th Engadin Ski Marathon, racing alongside participants from over 60 countries.

New chairlift in Davos

A new 6-seater chairlift will open in the coming 2017/18 winter season in Parsenn, which links Davos with Klosters. The 1,587-metre long chairlift will replace the Furka double- chairlift built in 1972 and will climb 380 metres, transport 2,500 people per hour and shorten the trip to the Parsennfurgga by around 5 minutes. The chairlift is designed like a single-seater – it also features heated seats and covers.

Apre`s ski train in Andermatt

A converted panoramic carriage of the Glacier Express boasts the record of the longest apre`s-ski train ride in Switzerland, running between Andermatt and Disentis. Each day ‘the rolling bartender’, Victor Costa covers 6,000 vertical metres, serving thirsty skiers all manner of drinks as they travel between the two ski resorts. The journey is valid with a suitable ski pass or train ticket.

40th Hot Air Balloon festival in Cha^teau-d’Oex

From 27 January – 4 February 2018 Cha^teau-d’Oex will be the venue for the International Hot Air Balloon Festival for the 40th time. More than 70 balloons from different countries benefit from the special microclimate and climb into the sky. Not to be missed is the ‘Night Glow’, where twenty hot air balloons light up the Cha^teau-d’Oex night for a very special performance.

New mountain glider in Grindelwald

The ‘First Glider’ is the latest attraction on Grindelwald’s own mountain, ‘First’. Adventure seekers glide down the mountain as if carried by a bird. A frame secures up to four persons who then fly towards the valley along a cable more than 800 m long, reaching a top speed of 83km/h. This attraction complements the popular exisiting ‘First Flyer’ seated zip line.

My Swiss Experience Finder

A nocturnal snowshoe hike in Arosa or stargazing the winter sky at 3,000masl in Zermatt. These are just three of over 700 bookable activities to be found at My Swiss Experience – our collection of the most exceptional, off the beaten track experiences available. Each is designed to encourage visitors to get to know a local host and see a whole new side to Switzerland.

Winter canyoning in Pontresina

Every winter, the Pontresina Gorge in the Engadin St. Moritz region transforms into mighty ice walls with imposing icicles. When the conditions are just right (cold temperatures and sufficient ice formation in the gorge), the mountaineering school offers an impressive hiking adventure through the gorge into the heart of Pontresina. This unique experience can only take place when conditions are suitable, making it a very unique and special excursion.

The steepest funicular in the world

With a gradient of up to 110%, the new Stoosbahn is the world’s steepest funicular railway and it’s due to open in December 2017 in the Canton of Schwyz. Running 28 times a day between 7am and 9pm, it will operate on a completely new line from the valley station near Schwyz at 562masl into the centre of the mountain village of Stoos at 1,306masl.

Longest suspension bridge in the world in Zermatt

Looking down into the abyss from the new world record suspension bridge at Randa is a thrilling experience. And this bridge at 494 meters is the worlds longest. It connects the long hiking trail from Gra¨chen to Zermatt at giddy altitude and stretches up to a height of 85 meters above the Grabengufer ravine in Mattertal valley.

Ski pass for CHF38 in Engadin St. Moritz

Guests staying more than one night in the Engadin St. Moritz region can purchase a Hotel Ski Pass for just CHF38 per person/day for the duration of their stay. With the ski pass, guests also benefit from free train and bus travel in the Upper Engadin. What better way to explore the entire skiing network with its 88 pistes and 56 cableways and ski lifts.

‘Magic Pass’: 1 ticket for 25 ski resorts

For the coming winter season, guests can purchase one season pass to access 25 different resorts in the west of Switzerland including Les Diablerets, Grimentz-Zinal and Crans-Montana. The pass costs CHF399 instead of CHF1,299 for early birds ordering before the end of September. The price will increase based on demand subsequently.

Ski the biggest 4 resorts with one pass

From the coming winter, the largest four ski resorts in the Bernese Oberland are launching a joint season ski pass. For CHF666 guests will get unlimited travel on 666 km of slopes – specifically the Jungfrau Region, Adelboden-Lenk, Meiringen- Hasliberg and Gstaad. Guests also benefit from 33% off selected hotels Sundays – Thursdays.

WinterCARD season pass in Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee have introduced their revolutionary price concept again for 2017/18. A ski pass was again available for CHF222, using a unique crowdfunding campaign with 77,777 sold. New for this year is the addition of the Saas-Grund ski area adding 40 additional ski runs to the existing 150 km of slopes in the Saas- Fee and Saas-Almagell areas. The new season tickets are valid from November 2017 to April 2018.

Zurich’s very own Gin

The idea for Turicum came around three years ago, when some friends made a trip to London to visit gin distilleries. After toasting their trip, they decided to make their own version. The gin is made in the four friends’ very own distillery – the only one in Zurich. The recipe also uses local ingredients – young pine tips, lime blossom and rose hip from around the city – plus water from the lake.

2018 Menuhin competition in Geneva

The Menuhin Competition is being held in Geneva at a variety of venues between 12 and 22 April 2018. The Menuhin Competition Trust is a UK registered charity who since 1983 have attracted some of the greatest violin talents from all over the world. Dubbed the “Olympics of the Violin”, the Menuhin Competition is the world’s leading competition for young musicians under the age of 22.

10 American artists after Paul Klee in Bern

From 14 September 2017 until 7 January 2018, the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern will be focusing on American art and the extent to which the influence of Swiss artist Paul Klee is reflected in their work between 1930 and 1960. American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Mark Tobey were inspired by Klee’s artwork and thinking and will all be featured.

New chocolate museum in the Bernese Jura

A new chocolate museum opens in October 2017 in Courtelary in the Bernese Jura. ‘Chez Camille Bloch’ is from Camille Bloch, who you might know as the manufacturers of the famous Ragusa and Torino chocolate. Part of a larger expansion plan, the new visitor centre is able to receive 100,000 guests annually and will offer courses, tastings and a seminar centre.

Chagall at the Kunstmuseum Basel

The exhibition in the new building at the Kunstmuseum Basel from 16 September 2017 until 21 January 2018 will be devoted to Marc Chagall’s early work. Important paintings from the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Im Obersteg Collection as well as prestigious works on loan from private and public collectors will be on display.

100th anniversary of Ferdinand Hodler’s death, Geneva

Ferdinand Hodler died in 1918 and in celebration of the artist’s life and work, the Muse´es d’art et d’histoire de Gene`ve (MAH) will be presenting a programme in 2018 featuring many of his masterpieces as well as the historical and artistic context in which he lived. From April the MAH in partnership with the Kunstmuseum Bern will also be holding a major exhibition devoted to Hodler’s ‘parallelism’ style.

New Oberalp Chairlift, Andermatt-Sedrun

As part of the connection of the Andermatt Sedrun Skiarena Project, a new 6-seater chairlift will open for the new winter-season and replace the old T-bar lift at the Oberalppass to Calmut.

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